Christ, Christmas, and Credit Cards

Randy Jumper, an old friend from grad school, just posted a wonderful piece from NPR.


I’m not fighting the commercialization of Christmas; that fight was lost ages ago. What I’m after is more radical: Disentangling Jesus entirely from this blight on his good name. I’m out to change the bumper sticker from ‘Keep Christ in Christmas’ to ‘Free Christ from Christmas.’

Heresy? Well, compare Christmas with Martin Luther King’s birthday. On his birthday, nobody ever pays any attention to his birth. Instead, it’s ‘I have a dream’ and his impact on society. We mark Dr. King’s birth by focusing on what he said and did as an adult. Christmas, by contrast, has no time for what the adult Jesus said and did. Christmas keeps him safely shut up as a baby in the manger, where he can’t make his usual noise about people repenting and living a godly life.

I’m not proposing that we cancel Christmas. I know, the economy would collapse without it. Fine. Keep the gift-giving and the jingle bells. Let’s just subtract the remaining Jesus element from it and move that over into Easter. Call December 25th Solstice. Call it Retail Day. Call it Holiday Number Nine. I don’t care, just leave Christ out of it. He was not born to be the patron saint of fourth-quarter earnings.

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